the agreement between reader and writer

Asymmetrical exchange

Two people meet on a trail. The reader asks, “Which way?”

The writer says, “That way to parking.”

Usually when we read, we forget two people met.


A reader commits (attention) for information, with a decision to believe or reject.

To convince, the writer might amplify the agreement or information. He storytells with tension and wit, and projects relevance onto the reader.


Both re-posture for others’ role to compensate for uncertainty in the exchange. They obscure or downplay roles.

The reader may implicitly reinforce, but the author alone explicitly remedies. Regardless, it’s mutually undesirable.

Authors: instead, acknowledge agreement and if possible improve information. Hopefully reading will still matter, but do not expect to hear, “Thank you.”

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